And You Will Live in Terror: The Afterlife The Beyond Seven Doors of Death
I got to see this movie in the theater under the title The Beyond. I think a better title for it would have been 101 Ways to Destroy an Eyeball. Seeing this film by Fulci with an audience was a lot of fun, since I was surrounded by people groaning and gasping in sympathetic pain as the characters on the screen lost various sensory organs and other body parts. This is the kind of thing you expect from Fulci and the thing he always delivers, an abundance of excruciating death scenes.
A young woman called Liza (Catriona MacColl) inherits a hotel in Louisiana that, unbeknownst to her, is built over one of the seven doorways to Hell. It's been abandoned for years, ever since the torture/murder by the locals of an artist living there. Liza is trying to fix the hotel up so she can reopen it, but slowly comes to realize the evil that lurks within, both from the things she thinks she sees and from the warnings of a mysterious blind girl. Dr. John McCabe (David Warbeck) hears her suspicions and is skeptical at first, but also eventually finds out the truth.
Fulci seems to like certain themes, namely, gates to Hell opening up and innocent young women teaming up with dashing older men. I suppose if he tries it enough times, it should all come together, and it seems to in this film. Although it's not completely free of the plot holes typical of Fulci, there is a sense of pacing and forward movement different from others of his films, where the main purpose of the plot seems to be to link together the death scenes. That's not to say he tones down the death scenes; they are as gory and inventive as always. If you end the movie with some unanswered questions, that's the price you pay for a Fulci movie.
The film is also not entirely free of some other things that seem to plague Italian zombie films: characters who can't figure out or forget that you need to shoot zombies in the brain, and characters who are so overcome with horror at something that all they can do is stand there and gibber, dragging the scene on pointlessly. But these instances are thankfully few and far between in this film, and at any rate, the story still draws you in. Definitely one of his best efforts.